The Los Angeles Lakers have had an up-and-down season, but over the past few weeks, they seem to have found their stride. After struggling with injuries and inconsistency earlier in the season, they have won 10 of their last 12 games and are now firmly in the playoff race in the Western Conference.
So, what has been the key to their recent success? Here are a few factors that have contributed to their turnaround:
Improved health: One of the biggest reasons for the Lakers’ early struggles was a slew of injuries to key players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But now that they are healthy again, they are playing at a much higher level. James has been particularly impressive, averaging 25.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game over the past month.
Better defense: The Lakers were one of the best defensive teams in the league last season, but they have struggled to maintain that level of play this year. However, over the past few weeks, they have been much better on that end of the floor. They are currently allowing just 105.9 points per game, which is the fifth-best mark in the NBA.
Improved bench play: In addition to their stars playing at a high level, the Lakers’ bench has also stepped up recently. Players like Talen Horton-Tucker, Montrezl Harrell, and Alex Caruso have all made key contributions off the bench, providing the team with a much-needed spark when their starters are resting.
Of course, there is still plenty of basketball left to be played, and the Lakers will need to continue playing at a high level if they hope to make a deep playoff run. But with James and Davis healthy again and the team playing well on both ends of the floor, they certainly look like a dangerous team that no one will want to face in the postseason.